MPD officer accused of selling confidential information - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Jason Miles

MPD officer accused of selling confidential information

Billy Smallwood Billy Smallwood

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A 20-year veteran of the Memphis Police Department was arrested Thursday, accused of using his authority to break the law.

Lt. Billy Smallwood was charged by a federal grand jury with accessing police databases and then selling confidential information - including criminal histories, driver's license information, and addresses - to a third party.

Smallwood accessed the information from his desk in the auto theft bureau at 201 Poplar - just one floor below Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin's office.

At a press conference Thursday, officials would not go into detail about who bought info from the lieutenant, but Smallwood is accused of providing personal data to at least three different individuals.

"These databases are restrictive to law enforcement personnel only," said U.S. Attorney Larry Laurenzi.

But according to a five-count indictment, Smallwood "accessed these databases, retrieved information as to certain specific individuals and sold this information.."

Godwin said Smallwood was arrested Thursday morning with no special treatment during a training class at the police academy.

"You need to understand, if you're gonna commit a criminal act, put yourself in a situation, you're gonna be treated just like every other criminal we arrest," Godwin said.

Smallwood is one of 45 officers arrested as part of Operation: Tarnished Blue, a joint effort by local, state, and federal agencies. He faces up to 60 years or more if convicted on each of five different federal charges.

Officer Ravell Slayton was also arrested during the sweep. He's accused of providing security at a house on Aubra Street where his brothers and others dealt drugs and stolen property.

Slayton admitted to standing watch at least 50 times while on duty, in uniform and in a marked squad car.
Smallwood and Slayton are both out on bond.

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